Monday, February 13, 2012
Dear facebook: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
It's not you it's me.
Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, do not friend me on facebook.
I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not give two craps about how cute your kid looks eating them Sam I am.
Okay, okay, that was a bit harsh, let's try a different tact.
As a self-acknowledged social butterfly, I can tell you without reservation that I LOVE all things Social Media...but it's more complicated than that.
On the positive side, I could say that I like facebook because it keeps me in touch with family and friends who live on the opposite side of the country. Good right? Well in reality, while the handful of aforementioned family and friends and I are indeed connected on facebook, we rarely interact there. Why? Because we speak regularly on the phone. We exchange e-mails or letters.
I am also (as mentioned in my bio) a writer and very much enjoy promoting and encouraging fellow writers and entreprenuers. As an independent contractor for a west-coast based marketing firm I must have access to the facebook business pages of companies we support. I am also passionate about spreading the word about people who are doing great things.
On the less positive side, I have been noticing for some time now that facebook, correction, the way that we (myself included) interact on facebook, has a way of making a person feel obligated. Obligated to wish people you barely know a happy birthday publicly. Obligated to leave a comment if someone is sick, or their kids are sick, or their dog ate their sofa. Please don't get me wrong, I am not some cold-hearted bitch who doesn't care - the problem is I care too much, and so for me personally it becomes a real time-sucker.
I believe everyone has the right to put whatever they like out there, but there are definitely those who enjoy providing a running commentary of their entire day, every day, blissfully unaware of anyone around them. Yes, I know I can "unsubscribe" and have done so - but then you have to ask yourself, if I am unsubscribing to this person, why am I "facebook friends" with them in the first place? You could argue that it will keep your "real-life" friendship with them in better standing if you don't see all of their posts. For me personally, the bottom line is this: I really don't need to know this much about anyone, nor do I believe that you care to know that much about me.
The truth is, I don't have several hundred friends. Last night before the deactivation took place I think I had right around one hundred "friends". I know who my friends are and so do they. I don't need facebook to make me feel special. Yes facebook, I see all the "people who are going to miss" me - but really they're not, because they know right where I am.
I hear people having conversations about whether or not they should accept a friend request from so and so, and weighing hypothetical consequenses of doing so or not (e.g., if I am friends with that person then this person will see and maybe I don't want them knowing what's going on in my world, etc.) I even received a friend request recently from a neighbor kid...who happens to be under the age of thirteen. My eight year old daughter was just whining to me the other day that some of her friends are on facebook and why couldn't she. N.O.! Stop the madness people!
Five years ago I was not having conversations about facebook. I was writing more and being hijacked by BS less.
The irony in all of this is that I need access to facebook for some of the work that I do. So, I have created a new super stealth facebook page, which will serve as home base operations for JenCann Productions only, and which will otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
Thanks for reading ~ Would love to hear your thoughts.